Woolloongabba – Cottage Pod

Owner’s Dream

Kelly and Anthony wanted to convert their house into a light and spacious inner-city family home to bring up their young children. They wanted to achieve this at minimum cost and complete much of the work themselves, as well as stay in their home during construction.

Existing Site & House

From an approvals perspective, this project ticked every box for difficulty. The property was located on a small lot in a demolition control precinct. Kelly and Anthony’s land backed on to a park with a creek that flooded their yard with overland flow at least once a year. The Brisbane City Council flood level was 100mm over the floor of the cottage and there was a major sewer line running through the middle of their land.

The time-worn 3-bedroom cottage felt as if it were bursting at the seams. It had no covered play space, parking or built-in storage. Dark central rooms faced directly into neighbouring houses and the cramped front and back verandas enclosed a tiny kitchen, bathroom, laundry and study.

Our Design Solution

PlaceMate Architects added a two-storey pod to the existing property. Built on 4m high posts, the living room, kitchen and deck are now located a few steps up from the cottage. A hidden parents’ retreat also resides in the new pod. A covered bridge joins the two buildings together and also allows light and air into the adjoining rooms.  

The original sitting room is now divided into a spacious entry and study. Reconfigured windows allow for plenty of natural light away from prying neighbours, and every corner of the home is dotted with convenient, hidden areas for storage.

PlaceMate organised the perfect consultants for Kelly and Anthony, and designed their new pod to adhere to all council regulations. The Development Application for the renovation was approved in just 10 days.

Fibro sheet walls, plywood floors and a custom-orb roof were used to save time and money. Kelly and Anthony were able to live in the cottage while the new structure was under construction, and then moved into the pod during renovation on the cottage. The project was completed on time and budget.

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Our Happy Clients

Jan Hogarth has the wonderful ability to listen and focus on the clients brief enabling her to present a creative design, making certain to have incorporated the clients requirements.

Good communication is at the essence of completing great projects. We feel that Jan’s communication with all parties involved in a projects is exceptional, :- sub contractors, engineers, the principle contractor and clients.

Jan always presents herself professionally and deals with any situation calmly and promptly. My company has always enjoyed working on a great number of projects in which we have been jointly involved, several of which have been Award Winning Designs.

Tom Ryan Building Contractor

Jan has a great eye for detail. Her plans are very comprehensive and she thoughtfully considers every aspect of how her clients will live within the space she designs for them. She specialises in period homes and homes with character.


Manley Homes Manley Homes

PlaceMate is trustworthy. If they say they’ll do something, they do it. The finished product makes us all look good. Some architects are really expensive, and the owners have to wait a year to see them. PlaceMate gives just as good a service, quicker and at a reasonable price

Nathan Forbes Rise Constructions

Best use of a steep site

PlaceMate topped the state for best use of a sloping site over $250000 at the Queensland Master Builders Association Housing & Construction Awards. The award was for the design of two contemporary townhouses built on a 500sqm site that dropped 10m from a busy road. All the bedrooms and living areas captured picturesque city views.


Best renovation $250-$500,000

PlaceMate took home the prize at the Queensland Master Builders Association Housing & Construction Awards for the best renovation between $250,000 – $500,000. The winning renovation was a 1910 cast concrete Californian bungalow-style home in Indooroopilly. The design added a new wing and unified alterations undertaken in 50s, 70s and 80s.

Recognised in The Courier-Mail

PlaceMate’s skills were recognised in The Courier-Mail for our transformation of a Shorncliffe residence originally built around 1910.

Registered with Board of Architects Queensland

Registration Number 2457

Our Client Success Team

Placemate Architects works with successful and innovative clients. Together we achieve significant and lasting transformations of cities, houses and landscapes.